Keys to the Past


Salt pan

A large in area, but shallow, trough of metal into which salty waters is poured. In this region this has usually been seawater - though inland brines have been used elsewhere, (Saltwich, Cheshire). Placed over a fire the water is evaporated to leave salt crystals for culinary or chemical use. Salt-making has been carried since the Bronze Age. There were many saltpans in the Medieval period - often being granted to monasteries. The Cistercian Newminister was granted some near Warkworth, Northumberland. Sleaching mounds of the insoluble fractions can be found along portions of the coast - of reddened, hardened material. Pottery was also used for this process - this pottery is called briquetage. Some has been found at the Iron Age/Romano-British excavated at Pegswood, near Morpeth Northumberland.

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